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Cara Cantarella: News/Journal

A Night On Broadway! - November 14, 2010

Gennaro's . . . wow . . . thank you for the amazing welcome! This was our first night at this cafe/lounge hangout south on Broadway, and what a surprise! Gracious and attentive service, a totally fun crowd, and truly superb pizza! It was an excellent night!

Thanks to our hosts Irene, Nicole, Bryan, and Rhiannon, who made us feel at home and took care of everything to keep the night running smoothly! We enjoyed meeting new friends Steve and Kevin, Andy and Tas, Kevin who requested more Janis and Indigo Girls, Dominic from FedEx Kinkos (thank you for your generous support), Fox with just excellent feedback about the repertoire . . . and Rhonda and Pat, who communed with us and partied all night and helped christen our new song "If You Want" with a dance of love!

It is so fun to feel the joy and we are sending it right back at ya!

A Reason, A Season, or a Lifetime - June 26, 2010

Just yesterday, two different friends sent me the following. I paraphrased and synthesized a little, but here is the basic gist:

People come into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime. When someone appears for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need we have expressed. They are there for the reason we need them to be. Then, without any wrongdoing on anyone’s part, the relationship comes to an end. Our need has been met, our desire fulfilled, and their work is done. It’s time to move on . . . .

Some people come into our lives for a SEASON. They may bring us an experience of peace or make us laugh. They usually give us an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe in it—it is real. But only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach us lifetime lessons, things we must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. We can put what we have learned to use in all other areas of our lives. It is said that love is blind . . . but friendship is clairvoyant. Some people come into our lives and quickly go, but some become friends and stay a while, leaving beautiful footprints on our hearts.

Okay, the “footprints on the heart metaphor” is not quite working for me, but I love the sentiments expressed here. And it got me to thinking. When it comes to relationships, we have such an emphasis in our culture on the things that last forever. We grow up convinced that that’s our only option. If it doesn’t work out for whatever reason, there must be something wrong with us. This notion is inculcated in us from the earliest age:

Then the handsome Prince leaned down to kiss the sleeping Princess and awoke her from her slumber. “My,” she thought to herself as her eyes fluttered open, “they sure have improved room service!” The Princess met the Prince’s gaze and it was love at first sight. She tried to move a creaky arm but it was weak with atrophy. The Prince picked her up in a gallant gesture as her dress ripped from her lithe form. “Who needs this old thing?” the Prince mused as he comforted his lovely Princess, safe in his arms. “We can leave it at the Walnut Room coat hang.” Then they rode off on his majestic white steed and lived happily ever after.


I feel as if I’m waking from a dream. The dream dictates that it’s got to be a certain way, or there is something not working. The dream never says, “well you know, it could be pretty good even if it’s not forever.” It never says, “appreciate what you’ve got, and even if it changes, something better will take its place.”

Some people in our lives move on. Or it may be that we move on . . . even from some of the greatest ones. It doesn’t have to mean that the relationship failed. It may just mean that it's served its purpose. If we can come to a place where we value these connections and appreciate what they gave us, our whole outlook changes.

Last night at a show, a woman was sitting straight in front of us listening so intently, and all I could think of was how much she looked like my best friend "Lynn," who I had parted ways with many years ago. I was thinking, “there’s Lynn sitting there, smiling so lovingly. What a good connection we had,” and feeling at peace. Forgiveness is a powerful elixir.

At the end of the show, the woman came up to me and said, I kid you not, “as I was watching you, I was just so struck by how much you remind me of my best friend.” “Really,” I said, wondering where this was going, “what’s her name?” “Lynn,” said the woman, serious as could be. Honestly, I’m not making this up. I stood there dumbfounded for a millisecond, wondering if she would believe me if I told her the truth. No sooner had I thought it than I blurted out, “OMG! I was thinking the whole show how much you remind me of my best friend Lynn from long ago!”

After our celebratory Valley-Girl type exclaiming over this coincidence, I felt the communication coming to me from Lynn, somehow in an energetic sort of way, as if to say, “it was a good season.” And truly, in my heart, I knew it was.


I Actually Used the Word "Tidbit" - May 1, 2010

Here is another tidbit in the 6 Degrees of Separation/It's A Small World tale of musician's lives. I was sitting in the styling chair at my new hairdresser's salon last month, when I mentioned we were playing at Ziggies. (Faith Himschoot of Hair By Faith in Arvada, totally recommend her.) "Oh!" Faith shrieked, "I was hoping you would say that. One of my other clients plays there, with a band called Mama Raven!" Turns out her longstanding client is Bill Garcia, drummer for the Mama Raven Band, which just so happens to be another band in which our bass player Clarence plays . . . in fact, we just saw them at Ziggies in February. Bill, you have good taste in hairdressers!

I am sitting in Faith’s chair, and I am totally nervous because I am getting my hair colored for the first time (okay, it’s public). My father was a hairdresser and one thing he made me promise him was never to color my hair. He used to talk about clients he had such as one whose hair was so red “she could stop traffic half a mile away.” My mother, on the other hand, had an inscription in her high school yearbook that said: “To Pat—the only girl I know who has a different color of hair every week.” So finally, here I am, I took the plunge, I am having my hair colored, and poor Faith winds up with this ball of nerves in her chair.

I told her that my father was a hairdresser. “For 50 years” I said, “so I know the business.” I have no idea what I was implying, but probably something like: “don’t screw up my hair!” We were chatting, and Faith mentioned that she loved to dance, and that she used to teach ballroom dancing. My father used to teach ballroom dancing also . . . weird. I hear this voice in my head that says “ask her where she taught,” so I asked, “who did you teach for?” When I heard the words “Arthur Murray Dance Studios,” I burst into tears. My father used to teach for Arthur Murray.

How many people in your life have you known who taught ballroom dancing at Arthur Murray? Exactly—not many! I have known two, my dad and now Faith. I just felt it was kismet or something. It was like my dad was telling me, “she’s the one. It’s okay to color your hair now, she’ll take care of you.” Poor Faith is just looking at me, digging deep to bring out her most compassionate hairstylist-turned-therapist response, probably feeling grateful that at least Bill Garcia and his wife Michelle are normal. But seriously, it was really amazing. I talk all the time about how I believe that those who have passed are still with us in some way, but the moments when I feel “evidence” of it are so special, and this was one of them.


Where Did Three Months Go? - April 1, 2010

I need to update my journal. I promise I am still alive out here. If you come to a show, I guarantee you'll see a real person, not a dead one propped up.

Wow -- it is April Fool's today. We are in the second quarter already. First, I feel the need to clarify something I wrote in an earlier journal entry that some of you horse people are probably laughing about.

When our horses first came to live on our land, I got bitten by one of them . . . I took it so personally. Now that I have been a horse owner for 7 months, and with these particular gals for 9, all I have to say is: HAH! Of course horses do stuff if you have no idea how to behave with them!

It has been a long journey, but suffice it to say . . . I haven't gotten bitten again, and I know it had nothing to do with "oh we aren't bonded." It had to do with "I am totally green." Everything that loving, experienced horse people advise you is true—provided that they are Trinity Demask or someone of similar wisdom—so just listen to them instead of having to learn the hard way. Take my word for it. Set good boundaries, gain your horses’ respect -- and then bond.

We are doing great in our happy paddock these days, and the hours I spend with the mares on sunny afternoons are a delight for my soul better than I could have imagined.


On a musical note, CCB has some very cool shows coming up in Denver that we're thrilled to present! We debut at a place called the Metaphysical Research Society on April 17th. MRS is a spiritual event venue located in a huge mansion in Capitol Hill. They are non-denominational and support programs of “integrated spirituality.” The listening room at MRS has this holy feeling to it; I can’t really explain it. I thought of saying “sacred,” but somehow it just feels holy.

This will be our first show in our new “acoustic configuration.” We’ve had a lot of call for more intimate shows without the drum kit, so we’re trying it out to see how you like it. When we say “acoustic,” we’ll be plugged in, but the show will emphasize our vocals and be more contemplative in nature. (Well, mostly likely – you know us.) We definitely have a soft side, okay everyone except for Clarence, and we love to let that show!

We also have a gutsy side that’ll run wild and free at Ziggies in Arvada on Saturday, May 7th. Thanks to owner Carla Jordan for hosting us!

CCB is headlining a "Female-Fronted Bands" night at the Denver iconic tavern, and do we have a show in store for you! Pianist/vocalist Lara Ruggles starts at 8; CCB follows at 9 pm. I highly recommend checking out Lara on MySpace if you haven't heard her music. Carla said she sounds like Tori Amos meets Natalie Merchant (Carla's two favorite women artists), and by golly, she's right!

Ziggies is known for its live music 7 nights a week and particularly for its history of blues. Carla would like to expand the venue’s offerings to different genres, so we’re folkin’ the place up a little and happy to help! This show will be a more on the rock side, actually, and we do have some bluesy and even R&B tunes ready for you . . . you know some of our players can SANG, if you know what I’m saying. And I think you do!

Lots of love,

Happy Holidays to All! - December 10, 2009

Dear Friends,

We can't say enough to thank you for the great times we have had together over this past year. 2009 was truly a whirlwind for us. We integrated our newest band member -- Ms. Jana Johns on drums -- and produced Cara's third CD, Now I Know, in less than 5 months. We released our CD on May 15th to a phenomenal crowd at the Walnut Room. Both Cara and Cindy had big transitions this year -- Cara's father passed away in May right after the CD release, and Cindy's mother passed this November. And the Cara Cantarella Band family welcomed its two newest members, Tanqueray and Chadesea, two beautiful horses who are now a part of our fold! Yes, two of the horses in the July 24th journal entry became ours over the summer . . . what an incredible year of development this has been!

And, most importantly, we had some amazing times with all of you. Thank you for shining your lights so brightly that we can see them whenever we are together. Thank you for spreading the word of our music and our events and for sharing it with friends to produce such remarkable growth in our audience community. Thank you for the most wonderful feedback after shows that we could ever hope to receive. When you tell me that you were uplifted, that a show inspired you, that experiencing our performance motivated you to make a change you've been wanting to and to be all you can be -- well, that, to me, is success. I know it's working. And that is why we do it . . . to have a great time AND help make this world a better place!

Our Holiday Revue Concert coming up this weekend is the last event of the year, and we've put together a show for you that we hope will dazzle and delight! Our friends Cindy Hammel-Knipe and Anne Brisnehan have graciously agreed to join us to create a vocal ensemble that is thrilling and soulful . . . the perfect blend of excitement, depth, and passion. Okay, I know I am biased, but you’ve gotta hear these women! : ) Join us for a lovely evening of holiday cheer, spirited music, and most of all – fun! See you at the show-ho-ho! : )

Love and blessings,

Sat 10/17 - Oktoberfest Concert! - October 13, 2009

An evening of merriment and entertainment
Presented by Collage in Morrison
Music by The Cara Cantarella Band

110 Stone Street, Morrison, CO
Tickets $10 in advance*/$12 at the door

(*advance tickets include drink specials - see details below)

Take a break from the traditional Oktoberfest activities and treat yourself to some "me time" or time with a loved one with some good food, drink, fellowship, and uplifting and inspiring music! Join us for a night of music, community, and fun in historic downtown Morrison, Colorado. Oktoberfest for the Soul is presented by Collage in Morrison (a place for creative expression and healing) in conjunction with Hogback Cellars Wine Bar. For the beautifully priced $10 ticket ($12 at the door), you will receive:

- A toe tappin' night of energizing music
- Morsels of insight, and possibly even streudel
- A chance to win PRIZES
- 2-for-1 beer and wine at neighboring Hogback Cellars (see below)
- A soul full-filling experience

* * * * * *

Buy your ticket in advance and receive a pre-show specials coupon good for 2-for-1 beer and wine at neighboring Hogback Cellars Wine Bar. The 2-for-1 drink specials are UNLIMITED from 5:00-7:30 pm on the evening of the show!

Get your chi all decked out for autumn -- and we'll see you there!

Beauties in the Backyard - July 24, 2009

We have four beauties in our backyard. Their names are Chadesea, Tanqueray, Peppy, and Guapo. They weigh about 5,000 lbs. collectively and eat 420 lbs. of food a week. They are the first horses I’ve ever spent any length of time with, and . . . I totally get the horse thing now. Totally.

It has just been about two weeks but already I am learning some very cool things by analogy. Our neighbors got these horses suddenly and needed a place to keep them. We have a pasture on the land, and by the good graces of our landlords, they were able to come stay with us. The horses, I mean, not the neighbors. “What do I do to bond with horses?” I wondered. It was hilarious – I hadn’t a clue.

One of the mares, Chadesea, is a four-year-old Arabian. I started just going out and hanging out with her. I was petting her and talking to her and just plain being with her—just standing there, really. I discovered by watching them that horses like to hang out. They stand together and are just with each other, just to be close. It’s pretty cool. People should try it.

So, we are having a great time and just enjoying doing nothing, and then the hay runs out. One day it was low, then the next day it was gone, and it would be another day before the new bale came. We took out apples, carrots, and cherries to tide everyone over, but when you’re used to eating 15 lbs. a day . . . well, the snacks were about 14.25 lbs. too little. Chadesea was foraging for grass on the already worn-down pasture, and I walked up to pet her like I usually do, and she nipped me in the thigh. Ouch!

I totally did not see it coming. I didn’t know what to do. It HURT! I was stunned. All of our great bonding . . . where had it gone? What did this mean? Sandy, her owner, said that the nip was meant to check: “are you something edible?” But the sense I got, being the recipient of the message, was “leave me alone! I’m trying to eat!”

I was crestfallen.

I waited for a couple of days because I just didn’t feel I could go back out there until the horses were fed. Well, I mean, I waited to go into the pen. We brought them treats and stood outside the fence to hold off the onslaught, and then the hay came. OMG, try moving a 1,600-lb. bale of hay with a truck and some utility straps, with four hungry horses trying to bite it! Anyway, finally, the horses are eating. And eating, and eating, and eating. You know, they say that the best way is to leave the hay out, and that the horses will self-regulate . . . but I ain’t seen any self-regulation going on out there. I’ve just seen constant eating, even at 10 pm. Soon things balanced out again.

I didn’t know what to expect of Chadesea, now that she was satiated. I tiptoed into the pen giving off “help-don’t-nip-me” vibes. And, early in the afternoon of the first fed day, she sauntered over to me for petting to resume. Her old personality was back: cool, calm, and collected.

If you have never petted a horse, or never cared to for that matter, you may not understand what such a reunion can mean. Horses have this amazing emotional bonding capacity that really is like nothing I’ve ever experienced. It’s almost like they communicate stories to you, or whole depths of emotion, with this deep sense of a higher intelligence. They’re not about to replace dolphins or anything, but still. They emanate a peaceful connectedness that just feels like bliss.

I touched her mane tentatively. But really, she was cool. She was fed and relaxed and back to herself. I wasn’t too sure about it, because I really didn’t know what kind of horse I was dealing with, but some time has passed now, and yep, this is her. Through it all, I learned something about interaction that was very helpful to me.

I pretty much think there are two types of relationships in this world. The first is where you’re not a match, and it isn’t a good fit. Those relationships you’re better off not having; I’ve been noticing lately that they’ve been falling off the plate. The second is where you are a match, and the fit is good—the relationship is basically right for you, in other words. But even in those right relationships, sometimes the other can nip. They might just be in a bad mood or be hungry or inconsiderate. They might be imperfect—and they nip you, and it hurts!

It’s so easy to get affronted and think “I deserve better. I shouldn’t be treated like that—I won’t put up with it!” It’s so easy to back off or not know what to do. But, like with everything, these circumstances deserve a second chance. I learned with Chadesea that she doesn’t have it out for me; she doesn’t even have a judgment capacity, for all I know. She pretty much doesn’t know me from Adam, since it’s only been a couple of weeks. She was just hungry! Get away!

And that is really all there was to it.

It is the same thing with people, I realized. Sometimes, we are just grumpy. We are hungry or hurt or irritated, and we take it out on those around us, and we don’t really mean it. Well, we mean it in the moment, but it isn’t monumentous. It’s just us being imperfect. It is how we are. Horses don’t really care, because . . . whatever. They don’t grow up in the school of “be-nice-if-you-want-people-to-like-you.” They just tell it like it is. People, on the other hand, have all kinds of guilt associated with pretty much everything, because it’s totally socially unacceptable to nip someone if you are crabby. Well, don’t be coming up to me and biting me or anything. But this is just my way of saying, if you have an off day, I understand. And I hope you understand for me.

HIGH G and BLACKJACK - July 14, 2009

Hello all:

Well, the summer is flying by fast – we hope you have been enjoying it! We had such a great time with you at our CD releases in Denver and Fort Collins. Thank you for your outpouring of support.

Sometimes the idea of writing in a public journal is perplexing to me. I am not sure of what people are really interested in knowing about. They say (whoever “they” is) that people want to know about the details of what is going on in an artist’s life. But sometimes I am not sure of just what exactly it is that you will find interesting. I usually just talk about the music stuff, but over the summer a few very cool non-music things have happened, so here goes.

I have had the great privilege of starting to study this year with a new vocal coach, Cindy Hammel-Knipe. We started working together in October after meeting at our first Morrison Town Hall show. I have learned so much already about improving my technique in singing. But this past weekend, I learned something perhaps even more important: how to play Blackjack.

Cindy took a group of us on an outing to the Central City Opera to see Lucia di Lammermoor. My advice is not to go to a “tragic” opera if you are in the mood to be uplifted. However, if you are in the mood for amazing talent and a stellar production, go to Central City Opera to see anything! The lead role of Lucia was played by a Russian soprano named Lyubov Petrova, who was simply stunning. Cindy said that on some of her parts she was singing high G, which is basically like “tape-all-the-windows-and-hide-all-your-crystal,” cause shit is about to break around here. But, I mean, in a breathtaking way. I mean this with the highest of compliments – she was amazing.

There was also a male apprentice who sang in the pre-opera “previews” who had a voice that is called a “Countertenor.” Basically, he sounded like either a woman or a 10-year old boy. Cindy leaned over to me and said, “he’s singing in a higher range than you do.” My mouth was on the floor. I don’t know how these people do it. But it is totally worth at least one trip up there – and plus, afterwards, you get to gamble.

So: Blackjack. We are close to the end of the night, and Cindy settles down at the Blackjack table, and the cards start flying. And I discover: my voice coach is a card shark! Did you know there is all this wild stuff that goes on in the game of Blackjack? I thought it was just getting a higher hand than the dealer does, without going over 21, but no. There is so much more.

For one thing, it is really a team sport, and if the whole table plays together well, everybody wins. There are even positions on the Blackjack table – first base, second base, and third base. The player at third base is pivotal, because if he makes a bad move, the whole table loses. Talk about pressure! Suppose you’re sitting there in the “third base” position, and you have no idea there is even such a thing as “positions” in Blackjack, and you have no idea what you’re doing, and you make some bad moves? Well, the table – or the dealer – can ask you to leave! They might suggest that you sit at another table, which is a polite way of saying: “you suck, please associate with others like yourself.” Or, they might do what this group did to the poor guy sitting at third base unwittingly, and say: “Please listen to what we tell you to do, or you will shoot the game for the whole lot of us.”

There was also a guy at the table next to us who Cindy swore was counting cards. (I say “us” loosely, because all I can really take credit for is poking my head over Cindy’s shoulder trying to keep up watching cards going 80 miles an hour.) Cindy said this guy was one of the best players she had seen in a while. When I say “counting cards,” I mean, counting cards from of a stack of about 4 decks used out of 6 decks shuffled. Okay, if that means nothing to you, just take my word for it – it’s mindblowing.

All of a sudden, I noticed, there are these white chips ($1) being bet in addition to the red chips ($5 minimum bet). And every time the white chips won, they would go to the dealer. As a tip. I had no idea you tipped the dealers on those table games! Shows you what a neophyte I am! Whenever the player giving the tip would win, the dealer would also win – cause the dealer would get the tip laid out for him or her. With that incentive, the dealer pitches in and helps the rest of the table to do well, because they are all playing together, in a way. It was so excellently cool.

So then you might ask: this whole day in Central City, and a night at the casino, did you win anything? And, well, yes I did. I won $36.75 at the only game that I know anything about: 25-cent slot machines. What an amazing night it was. I have no idea why I am telling you all this . . . but I also really wanted to tell you about our new horses. Okay, that will have to wait for the next journal entry.

Lots of love!

Fort Collins, We Love You! - May 22, 2009

So looking forward to seeing everyone tonight at our CD release at the Tap Room . . . what a warm welcome we have received from you! Join us for our first-ever show at the awesome Tap Room @ Catalyst! We've got some fun things in store! : )

Thank you, Denver -- what a blast! - May 17, 2009

Thanks so much to our Denver peeps who came out and supported us at our Denver CD release at the Walnut Room last night. Holey Moley, what a show. We had a blast and hope you did, too! Thanks go out to John Kisner, Todd and Kristi Helvig and the Edge of the World Band, and especially Ron Gordon on sound . . . and of course to you all, for making it such a wonderful night!

We love being with you on this journey -- what an amazing first step!


One Day To Go - May 15, 2009

Hello, friends . . .

We are so excited to see you! It has been an incredible week. The CDs arrived on Monday. I had this funny thing about keeping them all stashed up so that no one aside from the band could see them before YOU got to have them on Saturday. I felt like I was hoarding a treasure, and indeed they are a treasure to me. But this is one treasure that is most enjoyable shared!

It was an incredible feeling to open the case. First, the plastic. Then, that label that is really hard to get off unless you have a scalpel or something. Then, you hear the jewel case squeak open, and oh my goodness. All the pictures, months of work, tons of heart energy poured into these things, and it's all in one package, 5 inches square. I put it in the CD player and could not believe my ears. How could the replicated version sound better than the original draft of the master? Okay, okay, I know this is my baby I'm talking about here, so I'm totally biased . . . but anyway, it was a really cool feeling to be pleased with a job well done.

Tomorrow night we will meet you because this is all nothing without you. I mean, it's important, and it means the world to me, and I would do it anyway no matter what, but with you there . . . that is everything. So many of you have shown such a generous outpouring of support, and we are looking forward to a fantastic time together. We will see you with bells on! So much love to you!!


CD Release - Saturday, May 16th! - May 1, 2009

Well . . . we are ready, we are ready, we are ready.

It feels like we’ve been sprinting to the finish line. December 15th it all started . . . I got a wild hair to sit down and finish a set of songs that had been brewing for a while, and voila! Now I Know emerged.

Then it was eight weeks in the studio . . . another 10 days in Salt Lake City for mixing . . . and finally back to Boulder, Colorado for mastering. Oh, yeah, and rehearsals. First we polished 10 songs in the space of (literally) four days so we could record them. We slept over at Jana’s house and saw Clarence in his pajamas. At least, it is rumored that Cindy saw him. The band had never heard most of the songs until I sprung them on them a couple weeks before rehearsals were to start. An accordion here, a couple of new percussion instruments there, and we were ready.

So now we bring to you the fruits of our labor which we hope you will delight in as much as we have enjoyed creating it for you. This project was truly a work of heart, a collaborative effort on all fronts by those who participated.

Written and produced by yours truly

Recorded by Neil Zimmerman, TTFFO Studios, Highlands Ranch CO

Mixed by Giles Reaves, Annex Recording, Salt Lake City UT

Mastered by Dominick Maita, Airshow Mastering, Boulder CO

And amazing support and creativity by the Cara Cantarella Band:
Clarence Johnsen – bass, lead guitars, harmony vocals

Cinthia Cable – harmony vocals

Jana Johns – drums, percussion, keys, accordion, harmony vocals

Special assistance by key support personnel involved in all stages of the production process:
Sunny (TTFFO Studios)

Bliss and Buddy Love (Annex Recording)

Sophie (Our mascot and total inspiration)

Cindi Kalb (uproarious laugher)

Kay Johnsen (wise counsel)

Photography, general hilarity, driving like a banshee to Salt Lake, misbehaving in SuperTarget, and total emotional support every step of the way by Roberta Lott-Holmes, band manager and comic relief guru.

Secret ingredient

And a VERY special thanks to Jana Johns for Art Direction, Original Artwork, and Graphic Design for the CD package. Jana went above and beyond to help this CD reflect appearance-wise all of the incredible talent that went into it. She was assisted by Bridgit Coffman who gave generously of her design skills, patience, and tech savvy to help us submit on time and keep everything rolling! Thank you, Jana and Bridgit, for taking the baton in the final stages and bringing us ever closer to the finish line! We will cross it on May 16th with all of you!

In the Studio! - January 30, 2009

It all started with an idea.

Somehow the new year is bringing a flood of openings. I don't know if you can feel it, but there seem to be so many happenings -- comings and goings -- shedding of the old skin and donning of the new. I have been noticing this in so many ways, and I decided to write an album about it.

Well, that's not exactly the truth . . . I think the album wrote me. I could feel it "knocking" and asking to be listened to, sometime around October. It seemed like the new songs were here. I wasn't sure because they didn't all have form yet, but I could sense them. This might sound strange, but they have feelings to me. They wake me up in the middle of the night urging to be remembered. So in December, I sat and corralled them, and Now I Know was born.

The idea was that sometimes there is this turning point where you come into your own. Where things seem clear and you have certainty. All of the doubts that haunted you are quieted. The road may not feel totally pre-paved, but it unfolds before you, and you just know. This is your direction, it's absolutely calling to you, and now is the time.

So, I guess in a way this CD is a tribute to that inner voice in all of us. We like to say that it has been whispering to us quietly, but in truth it probably has been shouting out for a while now, trying to get our attention. And we finally have the fortitude to listen.

Happy Holidays to our beloved folks! - December 9, 2008

Dear Friends,

As we head into the new year, I would like to thank you all for your incredible support over 2008. It has been an exciting year for us, with the Letter to the World CD release in May and some changes in our band lineup shortly following. We have received such an outpouring of support from you in so many ways -- it is great to connect with you at shows and meet the new friends who you bring to enjoy the music and groove on the "good vibes!" We are so very grateful to you and look forward to continuing even stronger in 2009.

Our last Denver show of the year will be a duo acoustic on Friday, December 12th at For Heaven's Sake in the Highland's area. Cinthia Cable will be joining me on harmony vocals. We would love to see you there and wish you happy holidays in person. Wishing all the best to you and yours, and much happiness to you always!


We Love You, Morrison! - October 14, 2008

Thanks, Morrison, for the wonderful welcome and great evening of festivities at our Oktoberfest for the Soul celebration this past weekend! Our gratitude goes out to fellow performer Trinity Demask; Rhonda Benton of Hogback Cellars Wine Bar; authors Donna DeNomme, Karen Mehringer, and Erika Niemann; and Marlene Tuttle and Rayah Rideout of Collage for a wonderful night! Thanks especially to Tom Demask on sound and all of the beautiful folks from Morrison and beyond who helped make the event a sucess.

Winners of our drawing this evening were Dianne Fresquez of For Heaven's Sake bookstore and Cindy Hammel-Knipe, vocalist and teacher extraordinaire! How nice it was to start to develop a new community of fun-loving folks in Morrison. We were told several times of the need for a dance floor, so there will definitely be one at the next event!

Speaking of which . . . we will be back in town for a Valentine's Day evening of magic. Polish up your dancing shoes and stay tuned for details!

Thanks for the rave reviews! - August 20, 2008

Thanks, Denver, for the great reception for our new lineup! We played our first Denver show with Jana Johns on drums at the D-Note last weekend, and these are some of the responses:

* * * * *

"I'm still uplifted from the CCB's luminous performance Saturday
night. Your songs, your message, are embedded in my mind -- what
could be better?"

"You guys rocked with rhythm and smooth harmonies. Totally a nice
and complimentary feel with the addition of Jana. "Wow" would be a
word I would confidently use to describe what I heard from your

"The Cara Cantarella Band ROCKS!!!!! We love you! Thanks so much for
a great show!"

* * * * *

We'll be bringing the magic up to Everyday Joe's in Fort Collins this Saturday, August 23rd. For more information, please see the Concerts page. We look forward to sharing in the fun with you!

Introduding Our New Lineup - August 11, 2008

As we mentioned in our last newsletter, the Cara Cantarella Band has been undergoing some changes! Greg Spencer and Pete LeClaire are both moving out of state this summer, and we wish them all the best! We are pleased to introduce the newest addition to our lineup: vocalist Jana Johns on drums.

I say “vocalist” because Jana is a singer in the truest sense of the word. Her influences range from Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughn to Etta James and Janis Joplin . . . and somehow she does justice to them all! She’s also a phenomenal drummer, and we are very fortunate to benefit from her fine musicianship on many levels. Please join us this Saturday 8/16 for Jana’s debut show with us at the D-Note. I have been hearing RAVE reviews about the D-Note pizza, so come early, get a bite to eat, and make a night of it with us!

A Fond Farewell - June 15, 2008

Thanks to all who shared a special evening with us at our CD release in May! We had a blast and hope you did, too! We have had some changes since the concert, so this journal entry has a little extra news.

No, the band itself is not saying "goodbye" -- we are going strong as ever! But we do wish a very fond farewell to two of our members who are moving this summer. Greg Spencer, our drummer, is moving out of state to return to school. Pete LeClaire, our lead guitarist, is also moving to Arizona due to a job transfer for his wife Barb.

Words can barely do justice to the level of gratitude we feel for the privilege of working with such talented individuals. The past 3-1/2 years of playing together have been a true gift on many levels. We wish Greg and Pete and their families all the best and much happiness in their adventures ahead!

Letter to the World CD Release! - April 1, 2008

Last we left off, we were seeing things around here . . . like "angels" walking around dressed up as people, doing good deeds left and right. Some of those good deeds befell us, and now it’s safe to say that we are hearing things, and we hope you will be, too! After fifteen months of collaboration in the studio, we are pleased to bring you Letter to the World, a CD about what moves us to leave our unique mark on those whose lives we touch.

Join us on Saturday, May 3rd for a special evening to boost the momentum for YOUR inspirations! Many of us are experiencing things moving to a new level, and this concert is designed to celebrate all of our successes, in their various forms! Tickets are available online as well as in store locations throughout the city. We have missed you, we have missed you, we have missed you, Denver. We are so happy to be coming home to the warmest welcome that only you can give!

There are Angels among us - January 29, 2007

Hey beautiful people!

I believe there are Angels among us, and some of them walk by in
plain clothing. Some of them may touch our lives in ways we never

A few of those Angels have visited recently, and one in particular to
whom we are especially grateful. Thank you, Angel, from the bottom of
our hearts. The band and crew and I so much appreciate your vision and
your support. We are boundlessly grateful to you for astounding us
with the hard, cold reality that anything is possible if you just set
your mind and heart to it.

CD Recording Underway!
It's official! Recording has started for my second CD release,
Letter to the World. This CD picks up where my first release,
Beautiful Heart, left off. It conveys the message that our lives can
hold as much happiness as we are willing to let in.

The title track, Letter to the World, recognizes that we are often
disappointed because of the grudges that we hold. Under their power,
we tend to direct our attention to things in life that let us down. If
we focus on what's working right instead, a whole new world of
fulfillment opens up to us. It's really just that simple.

Pete's Surgery A Success
We're taking a break from performing as we finish the CD and as Pete
recovers from surgery. Pete LeClaire, our lead guitarist, had surgery
on his shoulder in November. He was operated on by a surgeon named Dr.
Hotsie, who thankfully is as awesome as his name!

We're grateful that Pete's recovery has gone even better than
expected, and we look forward to playing for you again soon! We will
be updating the web site with new pictures this month, so please stay
tuned. In the meantime, here's hoping your new year is off to a great

With love,


Denver, YOU ROCK! - August 1, 2006

What can we say except THANK YOU, Denver, for your generous outpouring of support and enthusiasm! We were completely blown away by the phenomenal turnout at our Swallow Hill concert. Originally scheduled for Tuft Theater, the show had to be moved to another hall because we SOLD OUT! Fortunately, we were able to be moved to Daniels Hall because there were no other acts scheduled for that night. We loved spending the evening with all of you and were so glad that everyone could be accomodated. Mostly, we were just glad to know that you enjoyed yourselves and had a fantastic time. We sure did!

I heard it said that night that Tuft Theater has sold out only a handful of times in the past five years or so . . . so this accomplishment was a great honor for us. We are so grateful to you for making it happen.

Bounteous thanks especially to Jim Williams, Swallow Hill's Executive Director, for his generosity in agreeing to sponsor our show. Much appreciation goes to Tabetha Hastings and Jim Lingle of the Swallow Hill box office for their support with our ticket sales, and to the show volunteers for staffing the venue that night. Rodolofo Betancourt and Joanna Springer helped immeasurably with publicity and marketing. We are also super grateful to the amazingly talented Brian Hunter, who ran stellar sound and was just all around great to deal with -- wow.

Ed McIlvaine started it all with his energetic support of us through our performances at the Swallow Hill Cafe. And our sincerest gratitude goes out to Rhonda Smith and her intern Rosie, who booked the show and served as our contact persons extraordinaire. Rhonda and Rosie, we so much appreciate your help with every detail!

When I walked out on stage and discovered so many seats filled and folks extending back farther than I could see, something shifted in me. It is like the feeling of having guests who you love at your wedding, and you are so happy to have them all there with you, and you feel so supported -- never mind the fact that you don't actually even know some of them! And then the most thrilling thing is the true sense of fulfillment you get when your guests tell you how the whole experience moved them!

I have longed to share my music with the world for such a long time in my life that I can barely remember when that feeling wasn't part of me. I waited and waited for what seemed like a lifetime . . . and, well, I guess it was. It has been my lifetime. My lifetime finally led me to this point, and I'm only so glad that I chose to honor my longing and take the risk to pursue my passion.

The mission of my music is to inspire, encourage, and support others in their personal growth, to help raise the consciousness of the planet. You are showing me that my vision is making a difference in the world. Thank you for that, from the bottom of my heart.


Swallow Hill Concert - Sat 7/22 - June 15, 2006

Hey, beautiful people!

When was the last time you took your loved one out on a romantic date? To do something fun that you both love, like listening to good live music? We've got just the evening lined up for you! But first, we'd like to tell you a little story.

For a long time, the band and I have dreamed of performing in an incredible music arena. In this place, awesome folks like you can come and hear a show that sets your heart on fire. You can feel comfortable in a listening room designed just for acoustic music lovers. You can be at home with other folks who adore live music, too. Then we discovered Swallow Hill, and we knew we'd found it. The quintessential place.

We also envisioned the ultimate concert. It's an enchanting night for couples and singles alike. If you're singles, you meet and become couples. If you're couples, you fall in love all over again. The evening is laid out with two special sets. Some old music, some new music. A little back-to-Woodstock groove music. Some tunes from the new CD that you've never heard before. Some gorgeous favorites. A night that will sink into your bones and leave you filled to the brim with passion. A night that reminds you of what you are doing here in this world . . . hopefully living to the fullest!

One day, the folks at Swallow Hill joined in to sponsor and host our concert. In their fabulous Tuft Theater! Lo and behold, the dream is a reality! And now we can share it with you!

For details and ticket information, please clickhere.

We look forward to seeing you at the show!


Thanks for Your Support! - May 20, 2006

Thanks to you, our benefit concert for Table Mountain Animal Center was a success. We raised $864.00 for the shelter. Thank you for giving so generously to support Denver's animals!

Much appreciation goes to the D-Note, for providing such a great venue. Performer Ed Skibbe did a fabulous job running sound -- and entertaining! Our hats are off especially toThird Road Home, who hosted and organized the event. Most importantly, we're grateful to all of you, who helped make it happen!

-- Cara

"Gimme Shelter" Benefit Concert - May 6, 2006


Arvada, CO, May 5, 2005 - Three of Colorado's finest
folk-rock acts will join forces on Saturday, May 13 at 7:00 pm at the
D Note in Arvada for a special concert to benefit the Table Mountain
Animal Center (TMAC). Americana duo Third Road Home will host the
"Gimme Shelter" concert, joined by singer/songwriters Cara Cantarella
and Ed Skibbe. There is a $10 cover charge which includes both the
"Gimme Shelter" concert and an additional fundraising event for cancer
research that follows at 10:00 pm featuring Blu Stu Kitchen and the
Three Amigos. The D Note is located at 7519 Grandview Avenue in
Arvada. (Call 303-GO-DNOTE for more venue

Finding musicians who are animal lovers isn't difficult, nor is it
hard to find any with a connection to Table Mountain Animal Center.
Trinity and Tom Demask organized the concert as a memorial for their
beloved Luna, an elderly Husky they adopted from TMAC. Ed Skibbe was
happy to sign on for the show, having recently adopted his dog, Chai,
from the shelter as well. "These animals have so much love to offer,
and when you bring one into your life and they become your best
friend, you feel so much gratitude toward the shelter for having cared
for your friend until you two could meet," explains Trinity. "Our dog,
Luna, came to TMAC as a stray. Who knows how long she'd been on the
street before she was brought to the shelter where they cared for her
until we came along. She brought such joy to our lives, we wanted to
honor her memory by giving back to the organization that brought us

Table Mountain Animal Center is the largest shelter serving the west
Denver area which includes the communities of Arvada, Lakewood, Wheat
Ridge, Golden, Morrison, Mt. View, Edgewater, and Westminster. The
Center can provide care to 125 dogs and 80 cats, and annually cares
for over 10,000 animals. TMAC is one of the leading adoption
facilities and educational resources for animal care in the state of
Colorado with an 87 overall success rate of adopted or
returned-to-owner animals last year.

Following the "Gimme Shelter" concert, the D Note will host another
fundraising event featuring Blu Stu Kitchen and the Three Amigos. This
event, free to those who attended the first concert, is to raise money
for Kari Obernesser and Robyn Korkus, twin sisters from New York, who
will be participating in the Pan-Massachusetts Challenge (PMC) bike
ride in August, 2006. Kari and Robyn, whose mother is a cancer
survivor, each have a fundraising commitment of $3,300 in order to
ride in the 2006 PMC which raises money for life-saving cancer
research and treatment at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, MA
through its Jimmy Fund.

Third Road Home's appeal is multi-faceted, combining Trinity's
sparkling vocals and insightful songwriting with Tom's emotive guitar
playing and tight harmonies. The duo's signature Americana sound
resonates with folkies and rock fans alike, and their live shows are
made all the more engaging with their down-to-earth style and humorous
onstage banter. Third Road Home's debut CD "Venus In Retrograde" has
won numerous awards including being named one of the best CDs of 2004
by The Indie Acoustic Project. The song, "Whatever Is" was selected
for the 2004 New Song Showcase at the Walnut Valley Festival in
Winfield, Kansas, and was recently featured on mvyradio's Fresh
Produce #1 Sampler CD, a national compilation CD of rising independent
artists. "Forty years from now, when the world looks back on this new
age of folk, Third Road Home will be riding high on the list of
genre-defining artists. Call it the 'Colorado sound' if you will. I
just call it great music." Kenny Hart,

Alternative folk-rock artist Cara Cantarella brings to the D-Note
stage a trio performance steeped in acoustic roots. With influences by
Sarah McLachlan, The Indigo Girls, Joni Mitchell, Alanis Morrissette,
and Ani DiFranco, Cara's music is passionate and lyrical, carried by
lilting vocals and driving guitar rhythms. Rounding out the sound are
complex and intricate bass grooves performed by bassist Clarence
Johnsen, and sultry, earthy vocals sung by harmony vocalist Cinthia
Cable. Having had eight dogs and cats between their households in
recent years, the trio members are delighted to participate in this
benefit to help TMAC provide critical shelter and care for Denver's
neediest animals.

Ed is a singer, songwriter, publisher, performer, producer and
teacher. Currently a staff songwriter for Ash Street Publishing in
Nashville and performing indie singer-songwriter, his music resonates
with roots and honesty. He has shared stages with Los Lobos, The
Amazing Rhythm Aces, Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, The Lost Gonzo
Band and too many more to list. Ed has been called "the most
underappreciated songwriter in America," a "lyrical whirling dervish"
and "a timeless American voice." In addition to near-constant
performing and writing, his 30-year music career includes stints as
President of nationally renowned music workshop facilitators BEAMS, VP
of Ash Street Publishing, and founder of Out of the Box Music (a
seminal indie download website). He recently co-founded CAMP4Kids, a
nonprofit in which local music pros mentor at-risk kids.


Thank you, thank you, thank you! - March 24, 2006

All we can say is . . . WOW. Thank you so much for your support and enthusiasm at our March 3rd show at Cameron Church! We had an absolute blast. We are SO GRATEFUL to you for your exhuberance and beautiful presence. It was a sheer delight to perform for you all. We hope you enjoyed yourselves as much as we did!

So many folks were involved in the production of this event. We truly appreciate the work you all put in to making it happen. Thanks go out first and foremost to our friends, The Human Beams, for co-producing the show with us. Marcella Skogen and Wayne Massi, founders of the Human Beams, thank you both enormously! You guys are the best!

Thanks to Fred Stufft and Aaron Ainbinder, who played drums and bass for the Human Beams. My deepest gratitude goes out to our band members: Clarence Johnsen on bass, Cinthia Cable on harmony vocals, Gregory Spencer on drums, and Pete LeClaire on lead guitar. Clarence, Cindy, Greg, and Pete, I don't know where to begin to thank you all for the work that you put into making this show a huge success. Your talent and dedication are such precious gifts. A big thank you also to Mike Cadigan, who did a fabulous job for us on sound!

Enormous appreciation goes to Kay Johnsen, who photographed the show for us and helped with front-of-the house managing in her usual expert fashion. Thanks to Ginny Duffy for help with ticket and CD sales, Dulcie Benson for help with setting up the house, Kim Sterzbach for running lights, Kurt Bocim for serving as our impromptu emcee, and Lisa Biro of Capital Tea for delicious refreshments! Bill Kirton and the Cameron community were so gracious in sharing their amazing venue -- we are truly grateful for your generosity in making this a night to remember!

Sandy Goodrich provided invaluable help with show promotions and publicity, and just general all-around moral support! Thanks to Roberta Holmes for promotional help as well, and to Brenna Nichols, Barb Khler, and Amanda Klehr for loading help and for being the best band "extended family" that we could hope for! Meticulous alterations were provided in a pinch by Susan Matthews, who also rolled up her sleeves and was a total trooper helping us tear down at the end of the night. Finally, my personal thanks go to Lauri Lundie for being a true inspiration that evening and continually reminding us of why our music matters so much!

I think our feelings about the event were best summed up by our lead guitarist, Pete LeClaire, at rehearsal following the show, when he said: "Again! Let's do it again!" And that we will!
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